Shane Warne's captaincy

Not over till the fat laddie leads

ESPNcricinfo staff
More than a year after retiring from international cricket, Shane Warne had captained the underdogs of the IPL to top of the table. And everyone is bewitched

'He takes his gambling instincts onto the field' ©Getty Images

"In the world there can be only one Taj Mahal. Similarly, there can only be one Shane Warne."
Dinesh Salunkhe, the Rajasthan Royals legspinner who is yet to play first-class cricket, declares his captain one of the wonders of the world

"It shows that when you play under good captains you tend to pick up a lot of good leadership qualities and instincts. Warne has, I think, benefited from playing under good captains and he is very much in control of things in the IPL."
Younis Khan, a Royals signing who hasn't played for the side yet, applauds from the sidelines

"You can study psychology for as long as you want, but he has lived it."
Jeremy Snape, the Royals' assistant coach and holder of a degree in psychology

"Not only has he led the cheapest franchise to the top of the table ... he has cajoled his team's unheralded youngsters and - even more difficult, this - almost convinced everyone that he is now best mates with Graeme Smith."
Lawrence Booth highlights Warne's key achievement, in the Guardian

"He is a great player and he leads from the front. He has done a great job in putting the team together and motivating them to give their best."
Glenn McGrath has a few words of praise for an old mate

"His captaincy creed, 'We can win from any position,' is like the common cold - it's contagious. If a team under Warne pulls off a stunning victory or two, the players start to believe that it wasn't a miracle, just an everyday occurrence."
For Ian Chappell, Warne is the best captain Australia never had

"Even a long break from the game doesn't seem to faze him."
Rahul Dravid, one of the other captains in the tournament, salutes

"Incredibly, his devotion to the team, and especially to the young players in it, even includes learning the Hindi language so he can communicate better - and not just the Namaste [G'day] that is about as far as most expatriates living in India can go. Example: "Ab tu jaake batting kar" [Now you go and bat], Warnie the linguist was heard telling Ravindra Jadeja during a net session the other day with such nonchalance that he never turned to see if anyone noticed."
Bruce Loudon in the Australian details Warne's efforts to bond with his team